Archive for the ‘Moon Knight’ Category

Moon Knight #6

December 29, 2015

Moon Knight 6Warren Ellis // Declan Shalvey
October 2014
*****

Ellis’ brief runs show the power of varying your method each issue. MK #2 & #5 were tight, one-scene actioner; #6 is a hypercompressed story, doubling as an origin recap for Knight & as the creation & defeat of a copycat vigilante. He’s built into a threat superbly, then instantly outclassed by MK.

last issue: Moon Knight #5
next issue: Moon Knight #7

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Moon Knight #5

December 28, 2015

Moon Knight 5Warren Ellis // Declan Shalvey
September 2014
****

MK storms an abandoned building to save a kidnapped kid from goons. While others (Waid, Fraction) push vigilante comics in new directions, Ellis returns to the genre’s roots. Like 1930s pulp tales, Ellis is unrepentant about lurid violence. Contrast w/ Shalvey’s staging: smooth, almost balletic.

last issue: Moon Knight #4
next issue: Moon Knight #6

Moon Knight #4

December 27, 2015

Moon Knight 4Warren Ellis // Declan Shalvey
August 2014
*****

Swerving into Dr. Strange’s territory, MK falls into a dreamscape to solve a mystery in a haunted building. For the leap into the unconscious, Shalvey lays a few pages out in a head-comix style with a touch of Windsor McKay. But tonally this tale of fungoid horror most recalls the seminal Swamp Thing.

last issue: Moon Knight #3
next issue: Moon Knight #5

Moon Knight #3

December 26, 2015

Moon Knight 3Warren Ellis // Declan Shalvey
July 2014
****

Talk about a cult run: Marc Spector turns to his skeletal death-deity for help busting a ghost gang of LES punks. The weird, magic element may alienate the fan of street-level comics, but the origin of Moon Knight did have a trace of ’70s horror, & it opens the mag out.

last issue: Moon Knight #2
next issue: Moon Knight #4

Moon Knight #2

December 25, 2015

Moon Knight 2Warren Ellis // Declan Shalvey
June 2014
*****

Moon Knight fights a sniper; from start to finish, the action takes less than 15 minutes. It’s a done-in-one vigilante comic, Batman in photonegative costume w/ a touch of cynicism. Shalvey opens w/ the victims’ last moments, & his use of white in the layout recalls Aja’s contempo Hawkeye.

last issue: Moon Knight #1
next issue: Moon Knight #3

Moon Knight #1

December 24, 2015

Moon Knight 1Warren Ellis // Declan Shalvey
May 2014
****

In white suit & limo, Moon Knight hunts a killer Frankenstein cyborg under NYC. Four years after his last series, this 1970s riff on the Shadow gets resurrected again by a master at overhauls. In Ellis’ hands, MK’s a gentleman detective haunted by a weird entity from outside time; Shalvey adds ghostly atmo.

next issue: Moon Knight #2

also indexed for May ’14

Secret Avengers #21

December 23, 2015

Secret Avengers 21Warren Ellis // Stuart Immonen
March 2012
****

Cap & co fight a horror beast in a skyscraper. Anyone hoping for a resolution to the mag’s Lovecraft conspiracy will be disappointed; so will Nextwave fans looking for a gonzo reunion for Ellis & Immonen. Still, the duo’s expertise makes for first-rate spy-fi & a fine capper to a fun, cynical run.

last issue: Secret Avengers #20
next issue: Secret Avengers #22

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America #7
Captain America & Bucky #626
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

Secret Avengers #19

December 21, 2015

Secret Avengers 19Warren Ellis // Michael Lark
January 2012
*****

This brief run on a 2nd-tier Avengers mag may actually be the apex of the ’00s superspy revival. Each done-in-one mission has a different tone, thanks to the guest artists. Here Lark evokes horror & The Third Man; in E. Europe, the team raids a club whose owner gains powers up by smoking an Elder God’s ashes!

last issue: Secret Avengers #18
next issue: Secret Avengers #20

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America #4
Captain America & Bucky #624
The Fantastic Four #600
Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
FF #12

Secret Avengers #16

December 18, 2015

Secret Avengers 16Warren Ellis // Jamie McKelvie
October 2011
*****

The idea’s still ‘superspy Avengers’, but in one issue, Ellis succeeds where Brubaker failed. A quartet of heroes led by Captain America destroy a time machine that’s been repurposed as a super-WMD. McKelvie’s classical layouts are (like Cassaday’s cover) clear & full of dynamism.

last issue: Secret Avengers #15
next issue: Secret Avengers #17

also indexed for Oct. ’11
Captain America #2
Captain America & Bucky #621
FF #8

Secret Avengers #10

October 27, 2015

Secret Avengers 10Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
April 2011
**

In this arc’s climax, Steve & co foil the resurrection of Fu Manchu. Somehow this manages to be a dull outcome. Avengers, Agents of SHIELD reads like it’s a chore for Brubaker to write. He’s fine with Bucky (& this John Steele), but maybe he has no more stories to tell about Steve Rogers.

last issue: Secret Avengers #9
next issue: Secret Avengers #11

also indexed for Apr. ’11
Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #588

Secret Avengers #9

October 25, 2015

Secret Avengers 09Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
March 2011
**

Hostage exchanges & nighttime meetings lead to a fight scene. Deo isn’t bad per se, but his ’90s testosterone & photoref settings gild the mag’s over-serious tone. Bru’s phoning it in, aside from his ‘original supersoldier.’ With Superman’s 1938 powers, John Steele functions as a father figure for Cap.

last issue: Secret Avengers #8
next issue: Secret Avengers #10

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #587
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

Secret Avengers #4

October 12, 2015

Secret Avengers 04Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
October 2010
*

There’s the germ of a cool Brubaker story here, with Cap & co investigating the Martian scheme of a Halliburton-type corp. But that’s lost as Deo draws the super-fisticuffs exceptionally poorly (when he’s not photo-reffing). Btw this & his X-run, should EB steer clear of super-team SF?

last issue: Secret Avengers #3
next issue: Secret Avengers #5

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Secret Avengers #3

October 9, 2015

Secret Avengers 03Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
September 2010
***

Those expecting more spy-fi from Brubaker will get wrongfooted by his b-mag. Instead he sends his ‘proactive Avengers’ to a Barsoom-like Mars, a onetime battleground to elder gods and Kirby bashers. The swerve could work except that Deodato, a ’90 veteran, can’t break from his cinematic style.

last issue: Secret Avengers #2
next issue: Secret Avengers #4

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #2

October 7, 2015

Secret Avengers 02Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
August 2010
**

Spelunking on Mars, the team uncover a dig excavated by mind-controlled humans & directed by Lovecraft aliens. Sadly, the fashionable creative team plays to their weaknesses: a cast of spandex physiques all speak in the same square-jawed monotone as they hustle around generic hi-tech bases.

last issue: Secret Avengers #1
next issue: Secret Avengers #3

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #580
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Secret Avengers #1

October 5, 2015

Secret Avengers 01Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
July 2010
***

Marvel effectively gives Brubaker a Cap team title. Steve Rogers, now head of SHIELD & in a Kirby-inspired uni, foils super-terrorism w/ a ’90s-style strikeforce. There’s just enough plot to bait the hook: the Roxxon Corp, owning the mining rights to Mars, has exhumed a Lovecraftian serpent crown!

continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
next issue: Secret Avengers #2

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

October 7, 2013

Avengers.JLA 4 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
December 2003
***

The crossover ends as it must: in an enormous brawl of punching & zapping. Still, the mag’s creative duo amazingly avoid even a whiff of the corporate avarice that must underpin this mini. The grand scope & casual confidence prove a good capstone to the super-teamwork dynamic that defines the Avengers run of Busiek & Pérez et al. Think of it as a victory lap AWA an impressive work of fan-service.

last issue: JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
New X-Men #148

Avengers #1

July 14, 2013

Avengers 01Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
February 1998
****

Pérez returns to Marvel’s supergroup superteam, tapping Busiek (hot off Marvels & Astro City in ’95 & last year’s T-bolts) to help w/ the relaunch. They’re well-matched: neither conservative nor radical, dense w/ info yet clear at storytelling. Echoing the Lee/Kirby original, a mage manipulates Earth’s superheroes into teaming up. This time, it’s an Arthurian, Morgan le Fey, using Asgardian magic.

next issue: Avengers #2

also indexed for Feb. ’98
Thunderbolts #11